The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months

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pantry primer

Did you ever stop to think about what you would do if all of your preps were gone?  Heaven forbid such a misfortune might happen, but what if your pantry was wiped out in a fire or flood?  If you had to start over, how would you go about it? As many of you know, my daughter and I have recently moved across the continent, from the easternmost part of Ontario to the Pacific Northwestern US.  Because we were crossing the border, driving through extreme heat, and then storing our belongings in a trailer for a month, I couldn’t bring our food supplies.  We still have our tools and equipment, but we are starting over as far as our pantry is concerned.

As well, we only brought a small trailer, so we are also starting from scratch for goods like toilet paper and laundry soap. Being without my one-year supply of food makes me feel uncomfortable and very vulnerable, given the economic circumstances in the US today.

To make matters worse, because of the timing of the move, I won’t have a garden to rely on this year aside from a couple of tomato and pepper plants that my friend kindly allowed me to plant in her own garden. We are fortunate enough to be staying with friends while waiting for our new home to become available, and much to our anticipation, we’ll be moving in this week.  I’ve gotten away from blogging about the day-to-day stuff, but I thought that it might be interesting, especially to new preppers, to see how we rebuild our food supply and get our little farm going on a very tight budget. (That move was expensive!)

Why do you need a one year food supply?

Why do you need a one year food supply? Simple. A one year food supply means freedom.  It means that you are less subject to the whims of the economy. You can handle small disasters with aplomb.  You aren’t reliant on the government if a crisis strikes. Food is a control mechanism and has been for centuries.  I wrote an article recently about how governments around the world have used food as a way to subjugate people and bend them to the will of tyrannical leaders.

Here we are, just like at other times in history, right on the verge of losing freedoms to the government machine.  In question is our right to bear arms, our economy, our choices in health care and taxation without representation (via the Obamacare bill).  The offerings at the grocery stores are not just poor, they’re toxic, but growing your own food is frowned upon and made difficult.  Many people believe martial law is close at hand, and there is discussion in the US Congress about microchipping people and about requiring global ID cards. We are being spied on, taxed, and silenced.  The sheeple don’t care – they just want that next refill on the EBT card, or the next paycheck that will go to pay the minimum payment on their maxed-out credit card. There will be different levels of resistance before it gets to the point of starving people into submission. First, there are the liberal left-wingers, who don’t require persuasion or bribery – they are giving away their freedom with both hands for the greater good. Then, you have the dumbed-down population on assistance by choice.  It would be an easy thing to persuade them to take a microchip or hand over their guns.  In fact, we’re seeing just that with the buy-back programs, where folks are trading guns for gift cards. As times get more desperate (and they will, you can count on it) regular everyday people, like the ones you work with, will give up what seems like a tiny amount of freedom in order to have the “privilege” of putting more food on the table or keeping a roof over the head of their families for another month or two. That’s when the real crackdown will begin.  When the majority of people are subjugated, tagged and inventoried, even more than they are now,  that’s when the rest of us will be targeted.  Suddenly, without an ID chip, we won’t be able to access our bank accounts.  This would mean that we can’t buy necessities or pay our bills.  If we won’t surrender our weapons, we won’t be able to send our kids to school or access our money to buy food.  Our children won’t be able to see a doctor if they’re sick.  The plan will be to make us so desperate that we will opt for subjugation over freedom.  And they’ll use food to do it.

But you can avoid all of this…simply by being self reliant. And that starts with a pantry full of food.

The Plan

The goal is to rebuild a healthy one-year food supply over the next three months.  I plan to do that using the following methods:

  • Shopping the sales
  • Buying in bulk
  • Buying from local farmers and preserving the harvest
  • Getting a fall garden going

Our budget isn’t big.  We are starting at square one – our cupboards are absolutely empty. Our journey is comparable to that of a family with a week-to-week budget who is just beginning to build a pantry.  Because we are concurrently shopping for groceries and all of those odds and ends which arise when you move into a new home, I won’t be able to blow an entire weeks’ grocery money on a 100 pound bag of sugar and a 100 pound bag of wheat berries – I have to also keep us fed, healthy, and in clean clothing. After a few weeks of building the pantry, I’ll be able to forgo a weekly shopping trip and put that money towards some large purchases.

pantry now

If you’re new at this…

Please don’t be discouraged when you see all of the doom and gloom out there.  You can take the most important step today…the step of getting started.  I invite you to take this journey with me – we’ll both have a year’s supply of food in no time at all!

Want to learn more? My new book is now available!

Lots of us like to have hard copies of information that we’ve found helpful.  Because of this, I’ve expanded on the information included in this series and put it all in one handy primer, available on Amazon.

The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months

pantry primer pic

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Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • How about showing everyone how you repackage the items that you purchased? I do the same but someone just starting out would probably benefit.

      • yes, I would love to know about repackaging. I found an outlet missionary store in Florida, and I thought I hit the jackpot. I checked dates, and stocked up real good. well, within a month and a half I had pantry moths all over probably a good hundred or so, I threw out most all the stuff, I did open and check what I thought was good, I really need to learn how to tell what is good and not , like the rice that was moving. I have collected buckets from grocery , deli, bakeries. some have a rubber ring ,some dont, I am not sure how to go from here any help from anyone would be much appreciated! thanks

        • I learned that to avoid pantry moths, take dried bay leaves, and put them on your pantry shelves every foot or so, and that’s supposed to work.

        • Sharri…..ALWAYS flash freeze your grains before storing. That’s right….set the whole 50 lb bag right down into the deep freezer. Leave it in approximately 72 hours. Take it out and allow to come up to room temp. Then repackage with oxygen absorbers and seal up.

          Most people don’t realize that microscopic larvae are naturally present on grains when they are harvested from the fields. That’s just the way it is…..freeze them to death.

  • I was just thinking this morning, how do I START building a food supply- and then saw your post. I feel this is a must for everyone who doesn’t want to endure long lines and short tempers at the grocery store when there’s a natural disaster. The aftermath could be more dangerous than the event itself. I live in hurricane country, others have earthquakes, tornadoes, fires, floods- who DOESN’T need to be prepared??
    I look forward to your Pantry Primer series.

  • Dont forget a lot of stores give a 10% discount or more when you buy by the case. I had to start over in march of this year. I’m almost back where I need to be. Takes a little time but it adds up quickly.

  • I have been stockpiling for the last few years , but just recently starting thinking about the idea of prepping for longer periods of time. It’s just myself and my son at home now , but when we lost my medical insurance and started having to pay for the seven meds I’m currently on for my heart the thought of not being able to feed us really hit home. My stockpile got us through a few months other than fresh groceries like dairy and vegies, I had to sit down and regroup because this won’t be just a few month change for us ; this is a lifetime change. Thanks for the article, great information….

  • Along with my garden, which is practically a year round garden, knowing when to grow what and at what times, I have built up a nice supply of food items with long storage capabilities.

    • Mike the gardener I grew up with a huge garden when I was young being an adult single mom of 4 boys I’m looking to get back into a yr round garden tips and ideas for someone starting out

  • What meals will you be making from your pantry supplies??? How many people will you feed, and what would be the serving size. These would be my questions about saving food.

    • Sue – I will include some pantry recipes over the next few entries. Right now there are two people but I’m preparing for the possibility of 3 adults, 2 young teens, and a child. I’ll work out those serving sizes also. 🙂

      Excellent questions!


  • I’ve never used the system of coupons, but I do know some people that save about 50% on their purchases on a regular basis.

  • Daisy many of us know why you are trying to help, thank you. Yes mam, it appears a person BETTER get a stash FAST now. NOW. Daisy I KNOW you understand what im saying..NOW. Its soon now.
    God bless you Daisy. Im sending you a link, you will understamd.

  • We just moved completely across the country as well and I left behind several thousands of dollars in coupon stockpile there. The good news is that we will be shipping most of what we left here in another month. The bad news is we are in a tiny one bedroom apartment with a new surprise baby due in 5 weeks. I started couponing again (after a 1.5 year break) last week and scored over $750 in free products PLUS got $100 cash back to spend on diapers and detergent. I just got a fluke money maker coupon deal and ran with it.
    I ended up getting (16) 32 load Gains for $8 out of pocket and 8 packs of pampers for $17 out of pocket. I got 18 jars of ragu and 8 jars of peanut butter for about $35 total out of pocket PLUS $15 cash back.
    That’s just one week of couponing! Total out of pocket spent was about $120 for over $750+ of free products and over $180 cash back (at cvs)!
    This is one of my plans to save money and build my er stockpile again. We lived off our other one when we didn’t get paid for nearly 3 months!

    • How in the world do you stack coupons to buy deals like that? Can you give some specifics on how to do that? I’m a older single person and I need all the help I can get. Thanks!

  • I had been wondering how you were settling in after the move. Thanks for sharing – I look forward to hearing more. You’ve inspired me to make an inventory of what I currently have in stock. It’s easy to relax thinking that we have enough of everything without realising how low some supplies may have become.

  • I find brown rice goes rancid during the summer. It just can’t take the heat of the 90 degree days. I have to store in freezer if I want it to keep long term.

  • I’m interested in your storage tips so I can hardly wait for you to share the how to’s. Like Jan, I have concerns with summer heat, no basements, and I don’t want to end up with everything in the freezer. We lost two full freezers years back from storms and extended power outage. Generators will prevent that happening again but I hope there are more economical solutions too.

  • When we moved to our new home, I was introduced to the idea of prepping for the first time. Having always lived in military housing, and moving every couple of years, keeping the weight down was always a priority. Since having settled into a long term home, and having a basement for storage, I’ve embraced the benefits with open arms. As a family of 5, and on a tight soldiers paycheck, I started out by buying 5 extra cans of SOMETHING every time I did a big shopping trip + 2 gallons of water. It rarely added more than $8-10 dollars to my total bill. My stockpile grew pretty quickly. I’ve since been able to start buying by the case, canning my own stuff, purchasing bulk quantities of stuff, but it felt really good to see my shelves get fuller without hurting my family’s budget. There were months when I could only add 5 cans of “on sale” tomato soup, but there have been plenty when I’ve had a surplus and could add a case of tuna. I’d say I’m probably at about a 5-6 month stockpile now – where we’d only need to add fresh produce (we have chickens for eggs and goats for milk) to see us thru. Start where you can – something is always better than nothing!

  • Wonderful ideas! I love Big Lots! You do have to be careful and compare, but on the whole, they not only do a good job with groceries, but pet toys, child toys, and sundry other things that I stockpile.

  • What is wrong with you all?

    Buying up all this commercially tainted food is just what Big Brother wants! Why is it cheap? Because its crap! Every product you buy is tainted with GMO or GE. Every can, every packaged good, you cannot escape it in the United States, period. You think nah this cannot be right! Well think of this all the Wheat Corn and Soya in the good old USA is GMO,GE. Which is in everything and its toxic. Don’t forget that all the things that come out of the soil are full of poisonous groundwater spewed out by the giant commercial feed lot farms full of Herbicides, insecticides.
    Then think of all that meat, eggs and processed meats! They are all fed grain and soya which is also GMO,GE antibiotics and growth hormones to keep them alive in the giant stinking feed lots.

    Never mind MSG, artificial colourings, artificial sweeteners to keep you addicted and to slowly kill you.

    Now you all rave about buying 60 rolls of cheap toilet paper!
    For the apocalypse! Hahahaha. GMO,GE poison, wipe your backside with that and you will soon be getting much worse problems and you do know, its made with the same GMO,GE and dyed with chlorine, the same as the tampons which are killing many women as well, even while everything is working reasonably well such as the immune system and the so called health care system, still available to most in some degree.

    Don’t waste your time buying rubbish food for storage.

    Find an Organic true farmer and buy a canning system they are cheap and both types Tin-Can and mason Jar types and dry good preservation,not forgetting to store water.But NOT in plastic it will soon become toxic with Bi.phenols. So grow your own foods and eat that and store the left overs. You can grow and store your own wheat and barley, etc,its easy from an organic farmer or grow it yourself. One quarter of an acre and you can be more than self sufficient. But OK some do not want to do grow their own, well if you don’t you wont survive for long on your own stores alone.

    But if you still want to store food get it from a true organic farmer or farmers and make a deal with them and it will work out probably the same if not less outlay than store bought poison the Likes of Big Brother and Monsanto and co, want you to buy now to get rid of this crap for profit to boost the e-con-omy for their sake, and make you ill for the health care system and be the first to die in a crisis’s they would like.

    If you are still buying store bought food and fast-food and from preping companies telling you lies off the net. Then you have no hope of surviving a crisis so don’t bother storing any food and live for today only, preping as you call it wont save you or your family.

    I wont bother to mention fuel sources and other things for that simple reason. If you are still a smoker preping wont save you one bit bit biz has already killed you with their toxins.

    • Well aren’t you just a little bit of Christmas?!!?!? So, you never explained how you make your own T.P. and roll your own tampons?

      • Don,

        Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. What’s with the “?!!?!?” ?

        If you don’t want the truth then keep your head stuck in whatever you find nearest, like a bucket. What I wrote were facts.

        I cannot even believe a potential preper is asking why I never explained how to make Toilet Paper and Tampons in my post! You are on the net look it up! I’m sure I have posted the information on there somewhere, and if not somebody else must have.

        Firstly Sanitary towels are easy to make and many women still do.Tampon home making machines have been around for ages for women who live in the bush, one of the big companies who wanted people with no regular access to civilisation actually made and encouraged the purchase of these machines. Toilet Paper I should not even go there, because making it is so easy and there are many alternatives. No preper can take toilet roll with them on the run and when no civilisation exists you will run out of the commercial rubbish soon enough. Fruggle or gaggle it or whatever and learn.

        However when it comes to cleaning your backside when you are eating good clean non toxic food, and not shoving large amounts of crap commercial food, alcohol and cigarettes down your gullet there is no need for toilet paper. Its a self cleaning unit and when you are self sufficient fit healthy you will have good bowel and stool movements making toilet paper unnecessary.

        When you have no toilet to flush you will have to use the outdoors and just as in our pre-modern society people squat properly, up against a tree is a good way to learn, and that’s important, so there is no need for toilet paper generally. If needed and no water available then use natures greenery.

        If stuck at home and a little water available use a small bucket and if lucky some home made lye soap.

        In Europe many people especially those with money and are more sophisticated don’t use toilet paper deeming it unhygienic,why spread waste across their backsides to soil underwear and cause a possible infection, abscess or worse fistula. They use a Bidet (a backside washer) and or a shower hose and dry of with a towel.
        Paper is for plebs.

        Toilet paper was only invented some say China for men who drank and eat to much giving them loose stools or a slurry,the Romans used a big brush like a toilet brush made out of sponge needing it after some heavy binging and drinking.

        So just like today’s overweight fat gluttonous eaters and drinkers of bad food and drink they also use toilet paper.

        Paper only needs to be used for sick, disabled and physically impaired people and that’s forgiveable.

        Is that enough information for you? Or do you need help googling the obvious?

        The facts and truth don’t sound like Christmas but if you survive a survival situation those hard facts might save you, so you can enjoy a Christmas at a future date.

    • I do not endorse GMO or GE by any means. I agree 100% with you that what had been done to the food supply is a deliberate move intended to compromise our health and to effect our mental / emotional well being. I had my eyes opened to the term ‘organic’ several years ago when I researched the requirements for the organic certification of eggs, in order to sell to health food stores. In many cases, certain pesticides and herbicides are allowed as long as it isn’t used within a particular amount of time. Also, some chemicals such as Round-Up and Tordon have a distance limit of a few yards. These two particular chemicals soil incorporate, one lasting for up to three years, and will move through the soil (depending on the type of soil and the steepness of the grade) up to a half a mile.
      The term “free range” means the animal is outside one hour each day. Any animal can be kept in an open air cage for an hour a day and still be fed GMO feed and soy to fatten them up. The greatest culprit in the e-coli breakouts is salad in a plastic bag and that’s the only way we can get ‘organic’ lettuce here.
      My point is, if you want to be absolutely positive it’s organic you have to grow it yourself. Buying storable foods in single ingredients rather than pre-made meals is light years better for you but dying slowly of ramen noodle overdose beats flat out starvation. The time is drawing near when we either won’t be able to afford to buy extra food for storage or even be allowed to acquire extra food. I expect to see beef shortages in the next couple of years. Farmers and ranchers are selling hay at TOP dollar to China today. Tomorrow we will not be able to feed the herd over winter.
      Sick / dead people don’t put up much resistance.

      • Well said and spot on about the E-coli dangers. The China connection is madness selling out, so they can wipe us out! Talk about the fools cutting their own throats.These terms free range etc, have most people very confused and that is their intention sadly. Be the change you want is the only way, and be sincere.

    • I agree with you. Buy organic and or the best food possible, non GMO, non neuron toxins , which are commonly found in food markets everywhere. Under stressful conditions one requires especially good nutrition. Stock up on vitamins. This ‘bargain’ food that people brag about stock piling, I wouldn’t feed to my pet…unless of course there was no choice but starvation….In the End tainted food will cause illness and malnutrition, the result being the belly will be full but the body will starve from lack of nutrients.

    • Let’s see what Jesus had to say…

      Matthew 15:11 –
      It is not what goes into the mouth of a man that makes him unclean and defiled,

  • Go to livestock feed stores… Same food as sold in stores except not clean, will have some stems,leaves or husks..etc

    50 Lbs Soy = $20
    50 Lbs Rolled Oats = $15
    50 Lbs Wheat = $18

    • You do know that the three products you mention are now GMO and GE toxic, in the all of North Ameerica! Also in any form soya causes hormonal imbalances, causing men to become woemn and women into men, and the worst of all of these hormonal changes they cause cancer. So even if they have stems leaves and husks if they are not organic and you cannot prove the source its poisnous GMO,GE. Oh and livestock feed stores only carry GMO and GE poison today! Why is it cheap? Its crap.

  • I have one of those “food saver” type vacuum devices which I mostly use with the attachment available on which enables you to vacuum seal wide-mouth mason jars. I’ve got dozens of cases of jars filled with rice, grits, beans, lentils, etc.,etc., all vacuum sealed, preventing deterioration. Buying the jars adds to the expense, but adds a huge value in shelf life to your investments in supplies.

  • ; How can you count on your livestock? If things get really bad & hungry people are looking for food for their own families, won’t they be stealing yours. Can you secure them or will you have to be guarding all the time?

    • Of course you will have to guard your livestock, not only from the packs of wild dogs that will form from abandoned pets but from people hungry enough to steal someone’s goat or sheep, even a cow or horse. They won’t understand clean preparation of the meat, will waste a lot of it, and if they try to save some for later may even get very very sick. They won’t understand that the chickens produce eggs or that the goats are producing milk, or that they are your breeding stock. Livestock will need to be guarded like the precious commodity they will become. You will need fencing to contain your animals and probably a gun to persuade zombies from stealing your animals. Hopefully you’ll be able to reason with them and explain that killing the animal for immediate satisfaction of the desire to eat a large meal of meat will destroy a steady production of other food. You’ll sleep in shifts to protect your perimeter and hopefully you’ll have plenty of people in your ‘group’ to provide adequate surveillance.

    • EXACTLY… That’s where you need to start… When looters come and see you are ALIVE they will know you have food… and they will make you give it up.

      AFTER you figure out how and where to hide (and protect) your stash (if you plan to stay where you are) you need to make a plan to buy stuff you ACTUALLY EAT. That’simplepe enough… just save your garbage for a month or two and then inventory what you are eating. If you go all out for survival food, at least TEST it… you may find you arallergicic to dehydrated/freeze dried foods or dairy products. If you don’t practice your confidence will suffer and you need all your focus to deal with the unexpected.

      Empty your freezer and turn it off… if the situation is serious enough to need your stored food, you can bet the power will be off too.

      • I believe if you are going to use an extended supply of store-able food, chances are you will have to relocate to another location. Have you read the book called “strategic relocation”? One of the tip in the books says that city’s will be full of looters, and if you live with-in 5 miles of an interstate you will face looters. My one plan is to move my supply with me to a bug out location. 50 miles away from the interstate. Outside of Nashville towards the plateau. I have heirloom seeds and cases of MRE’s ready to go.

  • I have an appreciation for what you have been through with your recent move. About 3 years ago, my husband and I moved from Alaska down to Oregon. That year my husband drove the Alaska Highway 5 times. I wasn’t about to leave my precious stash of food there. We were lucky that we had things like a sawmill etc. which we sold to help finance the move. Good luck with your new adventure. In addition I so appreciate all of your articles on SHTF site.

  • In the Pacific northwest you may find a grocery store called WINCO. They have an awesome bulk food section with many organic options. Their prices are fantastic. Also seek out a food co op from a company called Azure Standard. Tons of good priced organic non-gmo options and I am certain they deliver to your state. Thank you for this series and for your blog. You have no idea how you are helping so many of us be prepared and still maintain a healthy diet.

    • Read those Winco labels carefully, esp. the fine print on the meat. That is only what happens to it after it is butchered. Most of the dried fruits in the bulk bins are sprayed with processed oils. Lots of sugary, starchy foods in the bulk bins and many highly processed. I do shop there, esp. for many nongrocery items, but cannot recommend them as a source for generally nutritious food.

      If I recall, Azure is a company that will deliver to a central drop site, likely in an area near you if the order is a minimum of $400. You might want to check and see if my info is current. For the few basics you need to stock a pantry, $400 is really no that much, esp. if you go in on an order with 1 or more people. If you are in a very isolated area, it may be cheaper than gas and time for a shopping trip.

      It is nice to have flour and sweetener, but my only real essentials are salt and oil. And, don’t forget a generous supply of canning lids. I buy NOW brand “Better Stevia” in 1#cans for about $60-70. I put up all our own food. We like a light syrup on fruit for canning, so I use 1 t. stevia to 8 c. water. I find 2 cans lasts us 3 years. You can learn to adapt recipes and avoid sugar except for brining and curing (smoking). We go thru about 10# sugar a year, but most of it is brine that gets poured down the sink.

      Glass shower doors and heated cars (windows cracked) can be used to make food dehydrators. 2 stainless steel bowls, inverted, one over the other can make a solar cooker to heat food on a sunny day. Likewise, turn a dutch oven upside down over a bread pan on to[p of a woodstove and you just created an oven–but leave a crack of air. The bread pan should be set on a trivet.

      It is about returning to skills of an earlier time when people did not have so many conveniences. Older people have a wealth of info.

      Some of your greatest assets are a strong faith and good creative problem-solving ability. That is, to use the resources you have avail in innovative ways.

      Consider guerilla gardening? Jerusalem artichokes can remain in the ground much of the year. People do not recognize them and think they look like a weed.

      I hear people hoarding stuff that you buy in a store that will eventually run out–like wheat. Unless you can grow your own wheat or spelt, etc., you may want to consider raising nonGMO organic corn and grinding it for flour/meal. (hand crank corn mill)

      Can whole grains and rolled oats in half gallon jars. Set filled jars and lids/rings on a cookie sheet in the oven. 200F for 1 hour once the oven is heated to the temperature. Screw lids on immediately. Cool and store.

      A lot of this advice assumes you may be sheltering in place. You need places to hide food. Also, consider that if you live in the city or near people, food has odor.

  • all greatly appreciated! I just came across your site…what a blessing!

    I read recently that WHITE corn is NON-GMO. Is that correct? I just froze 2 doz. of the little babies!

  • Why must people constantly bicker and act like they know it all.Nobody does.the fact is that it’s impossinle in amorica to live without eating some gmo unless you can grow all your food.Almost eveything from the store contains gmo and if you buy organic you’re still not sure.I had 50 plus chickens and free ranged them until the local animals found them.You know,possums,minks,weasels etc.They were the best eggs ever.Beautiful full orange yolks that stood up.My own family wouldn’t even eat them because they were used to store bought yellow gmo eggs.Hell in the summer I barely even fed them because they ate every bug on the farm.

    • I am fortunate enough to live near enough to a dairy to hear the cows mooing in the morning and evening at milking time. They sell raw milk from the farm and some of the stores around here. They also sell true free range eggs from ducks and chickens. You’re right- the yolk isn’t that pale yellow. It’s darker and almost orange. Some of the eggs are fertile because there is a rooster around but the eggs are collected every day. Two dairies opened within 5 miles of each other- one sells raw milk from grass fed cows in a closed clean tested herd- they breed their own cattle and don’t buy any stock. There are two herds- one for dairy, one for beef. The steers are turned over to the beef herd and the best heifers are kept to replace older cows. The beef herd started with a few cows being bred to beef bulls and they are black angus. All of them are raised for meat or some kept for breeding and their babies stay with them. All are fed grass from their pastures or hay- no silage or grain. The meat is available for sale but it is very expensive and there is no shortage of people looking for it. Because they are closed herds and tested every month anyway, I trust all the products of this farm. They are dedicated to producing wholesome food to the community. The other dairy is a little different. They feed corn silage and make their own grain from soybeans they grow. They process their milk products right there on the farm- but they pasteurize all milk products which includes non- homogenized milk (cream on top), regular 1%, 2% and whole milk, butter, and 20 flavors of ice cream. No growth hormones and the only antibiotics they ever receive is what might be needed for illness at some point in their lives. While the second farm doesn’t claim to be ‘organic’ they do keep pesticide use to a mimimum according to them and I’m not sure what the GMO status is with their crops- they provide all feed for their stock. They also test their herds and offer meat products but they aren’t grass fed. I’m inspired that two family farms OPENED in this age when almost all the family farms closed. We’re fortunate that we have even these choices. We couldn’t buy raw milk until a few years back. Not one illness has been reported since the farm opened in 2004. We are also able to buy raw unfiltered organic honey from another local farm, maple syrup, and fresh produce- also organic. While I agree we should do all we can to eat organics and food in its natural state, as unprocessed as possible I know that post TEOTWAWKI some of this won’t be possible, especially if the grid goes down. The only folks able to get milk from the farms will be those able to get there and even then it will be interesting to see what happens. We may find ourselves eating whatever is available just to stay alive. It’s easy to say we just can’t eat GMO food but if that’s all there is for a while, and you’re forced to choose starvation over GMO food, you’ll eat it. And you’ll wipe your butt with toilet tissue happily because the leaves and grasses just won’t do the trick. Of course it’s easy to be a purist now while we can be but after the SHTF? We’ll be happy just to eat for a long time.

  • In my prep shopping, I found that Winco charged me tax on my bulk food purchases. I ordered some bags of beans and couldn’t believe I had to pay more, not less, for buying an unopened bag. So beware if you want to save money, just bag the bulk beans yourself.

  • I use the L.D.S. cannery every chance I can,nothing like good old #10 steel cans. A small group of us picked up a hand canner to use for other things as you can not take outside food into L.D.S. cannery. No bugs or mice!

  • Well I’m just not seeing it I guess. I do not see a years worth of food in three months based on your shopping trip. 3 months= 12 weeks…. no, no years worth of food storage there.

  • “1 box of organic puffed wheat cereal $1.50”, “2 pound bag of sea salt $2”, really? Really?? Puffed wheat is not a energy dense food, fact it is mostly hollow. And a $1/pound for salt? Please. Fact: if you live on the East Coast of the US, nearly all table grade Morton Salt is sea salt. Its sourced from a large brine pit operation in the Bahamas.

    Here is what I can acquire at Costco —

    40# table salt, $10.
    25# bread flour, $9
    10gal peanut oil, $29
    50# rice, $18

    The unit pricing is better even with the membership fee.

    Then for all the nonfood items, find a janitorial supply company that sells to the public. Get the large industrial rolls of TP. Much cheaper than `charmin`. Soaps bought in case lots cheaper too.

    I know your intent is to edge into a food larder by degrees but by your example given it would take a year to assemble it. Quicker to just get a second shift job at a temp agency for a couple of weeks and apply those earnings to buy in bulk quickly.

    Given the observations your website is excellent.

  • Hello

    One thing I do to but LOTS of storage food is go to salvage grocery stores. I only buy the organic (seems that people in TN and KY would rather pass it by, I go in about once a month and pick it all up!). Here is a link to salvage stores by state – This isn’t complete because the Mennonites have a GREAT store near Elizabethtown, KY and there is one in Scottsville, KY. Last time I went I bought about $120 in canned cat food (a great brand with no corn in it).

    I also buy my fresh food from a Mennonite community in Scottsville and Liberty, KY – cheaper than I grow it for. A group moved from Liberty to near Spencer, TN and I will start going there also. Their canned goods (in jars) are cheaper than I could make also, so at the end of the year I buy in bulk at their 25% discount!

    I buy buckets of wheat berries from Wheat Montana and grind my own flour (the Mennonites in Scottsville have a bulk store and he buys it for me so I don’t pay shipping).

    I also buy 1/2 cow (organic grass fed for $2/lb hanging weight plus .40/lb to the butcher). If anyone is in TN let me know, I’ll give you his information. The butcher can get me pigs too that are fed healthily and cared for.


  • Interesting. But it was annoying to begin reading, what I thought to be an article, only to find out that it was an advertisement for a book. I could have used the extra time to move on to the next link.

    • Have to agree with you here Scott. But I will say that I AM learning a lot from all the commenters, so it was not a total loss 🙂

  • It is ideal if you can shelter in place and produce your own food. A lot of people think they are going to stockpile survival foods and drugs. But what happens when those expire or run out. If TSHTF, it is going to take more than a 1-year food supply. Have neighbors who grow heirloom gardens that you can trade seeds with if you lose yours. Ideally, store enough seeds for 3 years in case you have a crop failure one year. Kind of hard to do this all at once if you are unaccustomed to producing your own food, so get in the habit of doing it when you do not need to–change your lifestyle so you need little from the grocery store. Throughout much of history, people have lived without grocery stores. Knowledge may be more valuable than stockpiled food. Know what grows wild and is edible.

    Fire igniters. Also, on a sunny day, you can even focus a beam of concentrated light thru eyeglasses to start fire. Propane for stoves runs out. Better to know how to construct various outdoor stoves and ovens.

    Good knives. Good boots. Thick socks. Ace bandages?

    Essential oils for all the diseases that are resistant to antibiotics. They are small and lightweight. Best used the first year, but will actually keep a long time. Know how to make homeopathics. Herbal knowledge. Charcoal. Hydrotherapy. Etc.

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